how is a business evaluated?

rating system

Each business listed on this site has completed a  ≈70-question survey regarding their business sustainability practices. Using data from this survey, each business was rated (using one of the five levels below) per the five categories detailed on this page, as well as an overall rating.   


The product of a business is what it sells – the food in restaurants, the clothing in apparel stores. Motmot asks 15-20 questions regarding the origins of products, specialized to the business.


Questions asked towards restaurants are focused on the origins of their products. There are several questions regarding meat – on eco-certifications of meat and fish, types of meat, and quantity of meat dishes.

Another big focus is locality – businesses that use ingredients locally will be scored highest, especially those that source within BC or even the Lower Mainland.


Questions asked toward apparel stores are mostly focused on the sustainability of the fabric of the clothing, rewarding use of eco-friendly and innovative material. As well as this, Motmot looks into the origins of these materials.

coffee shops

Motmot asks questions regarding the origins of coffee, as well as any certifications, such as FairTrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified. It additionally asks questions regarding the conditions on plantations directly, such as if the coffee is grown in a shade-grown farm, and if pesticides are used. 




Responsible disposal is one of the biggest parts of being a sustainable business. The survey asks questions about the business’s waste separation, and special disposal for certain items, such as furniture, appliances, batteries, technology, and oil. 




One of the most important parts of a sustainable business is community outreach and charity, as well as educating staff of environmental issues and how they can help. In this portion, Motmot will reward charity, as well as if a high portion of employees which commute sustainably to work.




The use of sustainable packaging is a huge part of a sustainable business, whether it’s investing in biodegradable bags or not using bags at all – companies that try to lower waste output and think outside the box to optimize packaging will be highest scored.

5-8 questions are asked depending on the business, from shopping bags in retail to take-out containers, utensils and straws from restaurants. The material, and usage of these material will be graded.

COVID-19 Don’t worry – We are taking into consideration the current COVID-19 pandemic into the packaging grading process.




A large part of the survey is details on the utilities of the building. The survey is done on by location, as this section of the form can differ greatly by building. 

heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC)

Efficient and conservative HVAC systems are integral to a sustainable facility. Questions regarding amount of heating and cooling, as well as the regular replacement and monitoring of HVAC filters, and thermostat type are asked.  


Water utilities are an important part of a company’s ecological footprint. We reward the use of low-flow appliances and proper insulation.


A large portion of the electricity usage of a facility goes to lighting, so we dedicate a section of questions to the type of lighting, as well as the frequency of lights being used. 


Questions asked towards the regulation of the facility, such as environmentally responsible pest control, cleaning materials, and paint.  

strategy & appliances

We have a category dedicated to strategy in energy conservation and the use of efficient, EnergyStar rated appliances.